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There are a multitude of diseases present in breeds throughout the world, some are congenitally linked, ie passed from parent to child, and some occur randomly. Some of the more commonly seen disorders include:
Health Issues (miscellaneous)
von Willebrands disease vWD is a disorder that causes an inability to clot blood properly. There are 3 different types present in all mammals, but really only Type 1 & 2 are important. All our breeding stock has been blood tested, not DNA tested, and found to be negative to both types of vWD. Blood testing checks for all types, whereas DNA is only available for a very few breeds, and then only for Type 1.
Hypothyroidism This is seen in Neapolitans overseas, but not diagnosed regularly in Australia, however, we're unsure if this is due to lack of testing/checking. It causes a range of abnormalities including skin, reproductive, and behavioural. The most common signs are hair loss, lethargy, scaly skin, recurrent skin infections, aggression and weight gain. All of our adults have been tested prior to breeding.
BEHAVIOR Despite the Neapolitans fearsome appearance, they are really not intended to be an 'attack' dog, their main purpose is as a personal guardian. Unfortunately for the breed, there are many of them being used at stud that are not socially acceptable, being either too timid or too aggressive. When choosing your puppy, be sure to view and assess the parents, as they can be a good indicator of temperament in adulthood. As your puppy develops, ensure that they come into contact with the 'outside world' on a regular basis, particularly up until 9 months of age, as this can allow them to become more interactive and social. A good example of this style of training can (and should) include puppy classes and obediance training.
Gastric torsion / bloat Also called GDV, this is a potentially fatal, emergency situation that I see not uncommonly in large breed, deep chested dogs. It usually occurs after eating, but can be due to ingestion of fermentable substances or exercise after eating. Affected dogs are very uncomfortable, restless and if their belly is tapped gently with the fingertips, it sounds like a drum. If you suspect GDV in your dog, contact your local vet immediately!
Elongated soft palate This causes snoring and 'reverse sneezing' in many, many breeds, but just as in humans, it can tax the heart and increase the risk of stress and heat stroke. It is easily fixed surgically, but may require more than one surgery to rectify the issue.
BONES and JOINTS Being a giant breed, Neapolitans can suffer from the usual joint and bone ailments such as... Read more
EYES There are a number of conditions seen in Neapolitans worldwide, and it is our belief that dogs should be routinely tested and/or checked for eye conditions... Read more...
The information on this page was written by our friend DR. Rebekah Day - the Veterinarian, Neapolitan Mastiff Breeder in Australia, the Owner of The Peritas Kennels